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On-site Programming and Tours

The following are free with the purchase of a general admission ticket: 

Guided Walking Tours

Occurs at fifteen minutes past the hour | 48 spots per tour
These tours will provide an overview of the more than 30 buildings on our 13-acre campus and a demonstration at the Blacksmith Shop.

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Martin Mitchell Mansion Guided Tours

Occurs at fifteen minutes past the hour | 5 spots per tour
Tour this turn of the century home left to Naperville by Caroline Martin Mitchell. Visit this elegant, yet functional, Victorian home restored to its original splendor and discover why Carrie’s gift was so influential to the story of Naperville. 

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Rita & John Harvard Early Learning Playscape & Splashpad

90 minute reservations | 50 spots per reservation time
Tuesday -Saturday: 10:15–11:45AM, 12:15-1:45PM, 2:15–3:45PM, Sunday: 1:15-2:45PM

Nestled in a replica of a wooden fort, the Playscape is designed for children ages 2 through 7 to explore the outdoors in a setting created just for them.  Please Note: The Rita (Fredenhagen) and John Harvard Early Learning Playscape is open April 1 to October 31. The water features in the Splashpad are turned on between May 15 and September 30 on days that the temperature is above 70 degrees. Water will be shut off during lightning, heavy storms, tornadoes, and for repairs as needed. Register

Women: Waves of Change Exhibit

Exhibit entry begins at 1:00 PM with  timed ticket reservations every 15 minutes
Women: Waves of Change shares the many ways women have influenced civic change for over 150 years. The exhibit will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage and share the histories of local women that were foundational in the formation and development of Naperville and beyond.

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Virtual Lectures & Programs

History Speaks - Naperville's Environmental Activist & Nature Writer - May Watts

September 20 | 4:00 PM | $5 per person | Free for Naper Settlement Members 
Our year of HERstory continues this Sunday at 4PM with the virtual program, “Naperville's Environmental Activist and Nature Writer: May Watts and the Illinois Prairie Path,” a lecture by William C. Barnett, Associate Professor of History at  North Central College. May Watts was an environmentalist, naturalist, educator, author, and artist who resided in Naperville. She was a Morton Arboretum staff naturalist who developed programming that included botany, ecology, and geology, and more. Her most notable effort was turning an abandoned railway into what is now the Illinois Prairie Path! 

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Women's Vote 100

October 13, 20, 27 |  6:00 PM | Free Virtual Lecture Series
The three-part series marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. The virtual presentations will be on the Tuesdays prior to the November 2020 election, October 13, 20, and 27 at 6:00pm.

  • Casting a Historic Vote: Suffrage in Illinois - October 13, 2020
  • Alice Paul and the Suffrage Movement's Use of Nonviolent Strategies - October 20, 2020
  • Bridging Voting Rights: Amelia Boynton Robinson to John Lewis, and Beyond - October 27, 2020

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Suburban Curtain, Expanding the Naperville Dream to All

November 12 | 7:00 PM | Free Virtual Lecture Series
Naperville, not unlike many American small towns that became large suburbs, has seen its share of discrimination in its almost 200-year long history.  Focusing on three individual of conscience, Naperville historian Robert “Bobby” Fieseler will tell the story of how this once “lily-white” town became a melting pot of middleclass diversity in the 21st century. 

This lecture is a partnership with Naper Settlement and North Central College Cultural Events. 

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Home School Tours for Students in Grades 2-6

1 hour tours take place every Tuesday through Friday at 9:30 AM, 10:30 AM , and 11:30 AM | $5 per person
Whether you’re home-schooling or schooling at home, kids and parents will love walking our beautiful 13 acres as you stretch your legs and your mind. The Cabin Fever tour is a great way to engage with our museum educators and learn about life in the 19th and 20th centuries. Each tour starts with a brainstorming session that gets students ready to soak up some history.  School aged children will also receive a packet full of fun activities to keep the learning going.  At the end of the tour, our museum educator and the students take time to reflect and discuss what they’ve learned. 

After your tour, why not bring a picnic lunch and stay at the Settlement for a mansion tour, a self-guided audio tour, and our new exhibit, Women: Waves of Change! The Cabin Fever tour is designed for students in grades 2-6 and their parents/guardians. Learning standards are available upon request. The cost is $5 per participant, including Naperville residents and museum members.

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